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Today’s Feast of Reparation (Thursday, 4 February) for offenses committed against Our Lord in The Sacrament of His Love was instituted in the 17th-Century, when, particularly in a France ravaged by The Thirty Years War (1618—1648), Churches were Desecrated and burned, The Most Blessed Sacrament was thrown to the ground, trampled, and even fed to animals. Bands of mercenary soldiers descended from the Protestant Countries of Northern Europe to pillage and destroy everything that represented The Catholic Faith. Two things, in particular, became the object of their fanatical wrath: Images of The Blessed Virgin Mary and The Most Holy Sacrament of The Altar.
At the same time, in certain ostensibly Catholic circles, there was a surge of interest in Black Magic and in engagement with The Powers of Darkness. Not infrequently, Sacred Hosts were stolen from Churches, or taken away surreptitiously after a Sacrilegious Communion. Too many Priests were seen to offer Holy Mass hurriedly and with scant reverence. Tabernacles were neglected. Churches were forsaken. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Apocalypse 19:16), the Thrice-Holy God, before Whom the Angels veil their faces and Adore, hidden beneath the fragile appearance of The Sacred Host, remained silent in a state of utter abjection, abandoned to the coldness, indifference, and carelessness of men. “O My people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I molested thee ? Answer thou Me” (Micheas 6:3).
A multitude of Souls, grieved by the offences committed against Our Lord in The Sacrament of His Love, sought to make up for the honour, reverence, Adoration, gratitude, and love that others refused Him. Believing Hearts were pierced through with a Sorrowing Love. The Holy Ghost inspired a vast Movement of Compunction and Reparation that came, over time, to find expression in The Sacred Liturgy, itself.
A special Mass and Office were composed, by which The Church approved this Movement of Compunction and Reparation. Mother Mectilde de Bar entered wholeheartedly into this Movement and, in some way, made its essential thrust so much her own that it came to be identified with The Benedictine Monasteries of Perpetual Adoration that she generated.
One might think that all of this belongs to the past, that things have changed since the dark and turbulent days of 17th-Century France, but this, alas, is not so. Remember recent events in Pamplona and in Fontainebleau. The Desecration of Churches and Sacrilegious Offenses against The Most Holy Sacrament of The Altar proliferate.
The distribution of Holy Communion IN THE HAND [Editor: Emphasis is mine], notably, has led to every manner of irreverence. Sacred Hosts have been found on the floor of Churches, stuck into the pages of books, and lying on pews. The disappearance of The Communion Rail; the widespread practice of Priest and people facing each other during The Holy Sacrifice; the indiscriminate use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in ordinary circumstances — all of these things have contributed to a massive loss of Faith in The Real Presence of Our Lord in The Blessed Sacrament and in Holy Mass as The Perfect Sacrifice of Calvary offered in unbloody manner.
Many of those who present themselves for Holy Communion have no notion of what The Church believes and teaches: that this is no mere bread of Holy Remembrance, but is The True Body and Blood [Editor: And Soul and Divinity] of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim: The Very Body and Blood formed by The Holy Ghost in The Womb of The Virgin Mary, nailed to The Wood of The Cross, Gloriously Risen from The Tomb, Ascended into The Heavenly Sanctuary, and Coming in Majesty at The End of Time to Judge The Living and The Dead.
This Article can be read in full at VULTUS CHRISTI